Shop Windows to the Universe

The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is in our online store, filled with Earth and space science resources.
This wood carving depicts Shango, the Yoruba god of thunder and lighting.
Click on image for full size
Image Courtesy of the Hamill Gallery of African Art, Boston, MA

Shango, Yoruba God of Thunder and Lightning

Shango was the king of the Oyo kingdom in West Africa. This was where the Yoruba people lived from about 1400 until 1835. Today, there are about 30 million Yoruba people in West Africa, most in Nigeria.

Shango was a powerful king, but some of the people thought Shango was unfair. Shango fled into the forest when is enemies forced him to give up the royal throne. He wandered in the forest for a long time and eventually killed himself.

After Shango died, his enemies' homes were set on fire. Probably it was Shango's friends that did this, but some people believed Shango had gone up into the heavens and was sending fire down to Earth. Thatís how Shango became known as the god of thunder and lightning.

Last modified July 24, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Thunder and Lightning

Lightning is the coolest thing about a thunderstorm. In fact, it is how thunderstorms got their name. Wait a minute, what does thunder have to do with lightning? Well, lightning causes thunder. Lightning...more

Ahsonnutli

Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god of the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. The four main directions are believed to be supported by giants. Each direction has a specific color: white-east;...more

Amphitrite

In Roman and Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a beautiful sea nymph. Poseidon (Neptune), who was the god of the sea and earthquakes, fell in love with her at first sight. Amphitrite did not respond to his...more

Aphrodite

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she...more

Apollo

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. He was known as the god who could...more

Cancer

According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek...more

Cepheus

In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia. His wife was Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF